8 Ways Your Company Can Support Working Parents

Emily Patz
Emily Patz
Posted September 3, 2019 in Employee Appreciation

Giving working parents the ability to succeed both on and off the clock isn’t personal, it’s business. 

Think about it. Working parents spend their time and talents mapping out the trajectory of your game-changing products, launching your latest lead-generating campaigns, and winning over your valued customers via phone, chat, and email every single day. They’re the superheroes of your company just as much as they’re the superheroes of their households. That’s why giving them a hand at both of these crucial roles is in everyone’s best interest.

Check out these 8 ways your company can uphold a culture that supports the working parents who champion your mission every single day. 

Before you scope the list, please note that most of the perks, policies, and benefits below can and should apply to everyone at your company. For the purposes of this article, however, we’ll specifically highlight how they can benefit working parents.

Establish Policies for Parents with Their Help

In the same way you rely on customer feedback to deliver successful products, you should involve working parents in the creation of initiatives designed to benefit them. 

Initiatives can include:

  • Evaluating updates to parental and maternity leave
  • Creating comfortable and accessible spaces for nursing mothers
  • Providing expectant parents with resources to help them navigate health care
  • Offering prenatal yoga discounts through your company wellness program

Whether you establish a parent-led committee or address working parents through your reverse mentoring program, gaining firsthand feedback is essential to the proper implementation of your parent-friendly policies. 

A working parent with her daughter

Celebrate New Additions to Your Community

Welcoming a child into the world is a joyous occasion. Unfortunately, many parents become fixated on managing the perception at the office that their 9-5 focus will shift from work to home. Give expectant parents the reassurance that your company is supportive of families and excited by their big news. Empower managers to celebrate pregnancy announcements with team lunches, cupcakes and non-alcoholic “mom”osas, and gift cards they’ll need when their bundle of joy arrives.

Allow Parents to Schedule Work from Home Days

Because of its sheer convenience, remote work is a popular perk among companies seeking to attract and retain top talent. Working parents can especially benefit from work from home days because each day they’re at home is one less day of child care costs. Not to mention, breastfeeding mothers can take a break from pumping in a cramped office space and parents with school-aged children can enjoy walking their child to the bus stop. 

Update Your Parental and Maternity Leave Policies

In order to compete with other businesses vying for the same talent, your company is well-served by taking a fresh look at your parental and maternity leave policies. Research companies in your area to see what they offer. If yours is coming up short on parental and maternity leave, determine how much it would cost your company to increase leave if the same amount of employees who took leave last year took an increased amount of leave this year. 

Even just a small increase in leave will provide a great amount of relief to the parents-to-be at your company who are likely pinching pennies just to afford time with their newborns and newly adopted children. The ROI on that gift of time will be evident in the motivation they display the moment you announce the changes. 

A working parent on maternity leave with her new baby

Empower Parents to Plan for Their Future

Let’s face it. Time is especially precious to working parents. Rarely existing outside of a schedule, they dedicate every minute to the aspects of their lives that matter most to them, including their job at your company. Show that your company is just as invested in their growth as they are invested in yours by working with them to chart their path to a meaningful promotion. Learn how you can implement collaborative career pathing to retain and develop the talent of your valued employees.

Offer an Onsite Employee Wellness Program 

For many parents, being at the office provides them with their only opportunity to work out. Whether you have an office gym, host onsite yoga classes, announce afternoon walks, or keep healthy snacks stocked in your kitchen, any effort that encourages your employees to be kind to themselves is worth the effort. Check out these tips on creating an inclusive employee wellness program so everyone’s on board.

Accommodate Working Parents with Flexible Hours

If work is getting done, does it matter if it’s in the confines of 9 to 5? Today’s technology equips us to work from anywhere, at any time, yet most of us still abide by an old-fashioned time-clock mentality that doesn’t accommodate the many obligations and exceptions we encounter as people, and especially as parents. Flex scheduling can provide working parents the wiggle room they need to:

  • Arrange pickups and dropoffs for child care
  • Work from home when their child is sick
  • Schedule weekday doctors appointments 
  • Attend afternoon school events and conferences 

To ensure flex scheduling doesn’t interfere with deadlines and an employee’s obligation to log a set amount of working hours, document clear guidelines around your flexible hours policy so everyone understands what’s expected.

A working parent picking his daughter up from school

Recognize Good Work with Tangible Rewards 

As wonderful as they are, children require their parents to make lots of sacrifices in regard to their budget, social life, and ability to prioritize self care. That’s why rewards for a job well done that result in a little extra spending power, some much needed R+R, or a night out on the town are always the most memorable and appreciated. So before you opt for the pizza lunch, think about fun and creative options that will make an A-player parent’s day.